Week in Review – 19 November 2017

This has been a great week, really busy, but great.

On Tuesday, I went and lead the walking group, got drowned in a terrible downpour then went straight to the BCfm studio for an on-air interview about how I got involved with the walking group, and the correlation between mental and physical health. If you want to listen you can go here click on 14/11/2017, listen from 19:30 for a couple of minutes. It’s a very Bristolian interview so be warned!

Wednesday I was volunteering as usual, except this week we were in full speed preparation for our big event next week. I love getting my head down and prepping work. I love having a solid to do list and just working hard. There was a lot of social media work, some design work (I’m extremely amateur), and some writing and PR work. Next Wednesday is the event so hopefully, in next week’s roundup, I can bring you some photo’s. There are a fair few important people going including Bristol’s Mayor, and I’m going to be on a panel for a Q&A session.

NaNoWriMo is going well, really well actually. I was honestly worried when I signed up that I was setting myself up for a fail. But this story wants to come out of me so badly! I had my outline and while it’s sort of following the basic premise of that outline, I literally sit down each day not having a clue where this story is going. Most days I finish the chapter I sat down to write and say “Wow, did that really just happen?” There have been a few directions it’s taken where I’ve done a double take. My imagination is having fun with this book, and I love what is coming out. I’m currently at 41,687 words, that’s 10,014 over target.

Here is my bookish update this week…

Currently Reading

What I’ve Read

New Books

Bought / Freebies

Book Post

Reviews

Here are my reviews for this week:

Three Stars: Seventh Decimate by Stephen Donaldson and The Year of the Knife by G.D. Penman.
Four Stars: A Winter’s Wish Come True by Lynsey James and André by Sybil Bartel.
Five Stars: Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis and Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney.

Other Posts

Mischenko from Read Rant Rock & Roll was on The Bookshelf this week. It’s a fantastic post don’t miss it.

I featured Judas Priest on Music Monday this week. I also took part in the Zombie Apocalypse Tag which was great fun.

Next Week on BrizzleLass Books

#Review: Seventh Decimate by Stephen Donaldson @Gollancz

Description

The war between Amika and Belleger has raged for generations. Its roots lie in the distant past, beyond memory. Sorcerers from both sides rain destruction down on the battlefield, wielding the six deadly Decimates of fire, earth, wind, water, lightning, and pestilence.

Prince Bifalt hopes that Belleger’s new weapons technology, the rifle, will provide a decisive advantage. But when Belleger’s sorcerers are mysteriously deprived of their magical abilities, leaving them unable to defend against Amika, he must set aside his own deep hatred of sorcery and work to solve this new enigma.

Grasping at any chance to save his beloved homeland, Prince Bifalt of Belleger sets out on a hazardous journey across the unmapped wastelands to the east. With Elgart, his last comrade, Bifalt pursues the long-hidden trail of the one object that might be able to turn the tide of the endless war – a book entitled The Seventh Decimate.

The events that unfold force Prince Bifalt to weigh his stubbornness, his patriotism, and his hatred for sorcerers against his sense of loyalty and of what he knows to be right. And as he learns, Amika and Belleger may simply be pawns within an even larger struggle…

Review

It’s fair to see the return of Stephen Donaldson is something to be excited about, I was particularly fond of The King’s Justice novels which I highly recommend. I had high expectations for Seventh Decimate and this is maybe where I fell down a little, because when you set your expectations that high can anything truly live up to them?

Two Kingdoms have been at war for as long as anybody can remember, Amika and Belleger, are tearing each other apart, Prince Bifalt son of the King of Belleger is sent on a quest by his Father to to acquire a book which could give them the upper hand, the mysterious Seventh Decimate. He leaves with a travelling party but as a series of unfortunate mishaps befall them he spends a large chunk of his journey alone.

The story is told in third person, and unusually not told in chapters but in five parts split into sections. The way it’s told made me feel I was slightly disconnected from Bifalt which made it hard for me as I progressed through the book. I really wanted to connect to this character who I felt had a lot to offer. On the surface he was strong and loyal, completely dedicated to his kingdom, his father, his people. But there was also a lot of depth to him and as the book progresses he becomes more paranoid rightly or wrongly and reads threats into everything which is said or done by others quite often to his own detriment. But through all this I don’t feel any emotion from him and that is what I missed most from the book just feeling that I was going through the motions.

I also felt that there was a lack of strong female characters something I really leap on these days and love to see. There is a female assassin but we don’t see much of her in action, otherwise the female characters are few and far between, just bit characters that don’t really stand out.

Overall, this is an enjoyable book, but it lacked a few elements that I was hoping to see that would have raised it to the next level for me.

Huge thanks to Stephen Donaldson and Gollancz for providing me with an ARC so that I could read and review this novel honestly.

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleSeventh Decimate
Series: The Great God’s War #1
Author: Stephen R. Donaldson
Genre: Fantasy | Epic Fantasy | Magic
Publisher: Gollancz
Publication Date: 16 November 2017
Review Format: Paperback
Other FormatseBook | Hardcover | Audio
Pages: 320
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones | Foyles | Book Depository | Speedy Hen | Wordery

Week in Review – 22 October 2017

I’ve been recovering from the Bronchitis this week but I’ve been busy working with a couple of authors who I have taken on as marketing clients. I’m really excited about this new freelance route I’ve developed and using my marketing background to help authors is really rewarding.

I’ve also started working on the next revision of my book. I’ve had some awesome feedback from beta readers and have started to work that into this revision and can already see how great the book will be when I finish the edits.

I’m also reading a lot at the moment, I have a week coming up in November with five review tours (bad planning Claire!) so I’m trying to get all the books read as soon as possible so that I don’t trip myself up when that week gets closer! Honestly, I don’t know how I get myself in these fixes sometimes, especially as I’ve been trying to reduce the amount I’m doing!

The TBR Topple winner for this month has been chosen and the winner is: Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis, keep an eye out for the review next month.

Right, here is my bookish update for this week!

Currently Reading

What I’ve Read

New Books

Bought / Freebies

Reviews

This week I have reviewed The Pets at Primrose Cottage by Sheila Norton, If I Want You by Rachel Brimble, the Personalised Modern Girls Guide to Happy Hour by Ada Adverse, Elements of Mischief by C.M. Stunich and Tate James, and A Vicarage Christmas by Kate Hewitt.

Other Posts

I had a guest post from Kate Hewitt on the A Vicarage Christmas blog tour, I had an excerpt from The Rise of the Dawnstar by Farah Oomerbhoy. I featured Tina Guo on Music Monday this week. I also took part in the Hocus Pocus Book Tag. I had Lynne from Fictionphile join me on The Bookshelf this week.

Next Week on BrizzleLass Books

Week in Review – 15 October 2017

Huge congratulations to my good friend, James over at This Is My Truth Now who’s debut novel was published this week. It’s called Watching Glass Shatter and will blow your mind.  You can pick it up from Amazon UK Amazon US.

My cold I was moaning about last week turned out to be Bronchitis, yeah I hid that well! So I’ve been sick all this week as well, had a pretty bad asthma attack on Tuesday night as well which is a kicker as I’ve not needed any asthma meds for almost two years. So I’m now back on all the inhalers and trying to learn to breathe again and stop coughing!

The plus side to having been so sick is I’ve read loads, I tried reading a fantasy novel but couldn’t concentrate what with all the coughing so I have been blitzing my way through the romance novels on my TBR. Always a silver lining!

Right, here is my bookish update for this week!

Currently Reading

What I’ve Read

New Books

Bought / Freebies

Book Post

eARCs

Reviews

I kicked off my reviews this week with a review of my TBR Topple winner from last month Firestorm by Rachel Caine. I then reviewed Branded by Keary Taylor, Damned by Alexandrea Weiss and Lucas Astor, Now You See Me by Kierney Scott, and Lure by C.M. Stunich.

Other Posts

This week I had excerpts of Ruin of the Gods by Erin Hayes and Lure by C.M. Stunich as part of the Book Blitz. I featured Seether in the Music Monday post this week and I took part in The Fall Book Tag and The Playlist Shuffle Tag.

Next Week on BrizzleLass Books

Week in Review – 17 September 2017

I posted on Twitter and on my other blog which I’ve now retired, that I would be gradually bringing this one to a close. The response I received, honestly amazed me. Not just the comments on that post, but private messages and emails as well. Thank you to everyone who contacted me, the kind and encouraging words. Also, ironically, the stats on this blog started to go up, and on Friday I received one of those WordPress notifications you occasionally get to tell me my stats were “booming” …go figure!

A couple of people I had some lovely conversations with, they helped me work through what my actual issues are with this blog. Most importantly that I’m spending 4-5 hours a day working on this blog, that my stats had been dwindling to less than 50 visitors per day, when six months ago I was getting several hundred, I’ve invested money in giveaways and not one person has entered them.

The decision I’ve made on the back of my discussions is to transition this into a reviews only blog, and reduce the amount I’m posting. I will keep The Bookshelf, which is still my most popular feature, and this week in review post which I will alter slightly once I’ve worked out a better format.

I have commitments with blog tours and book blitzes between now and January which I will honour so things probably won’t change much before then, but afterwards, I will only do tours with reviews and not loads of them so I’m not quite so overwhelmed.

Anyway, thank you to everyone who contacted me, I really have felt completely deflated by all of this recently and I wasn’t expecting so much support from people when I made the decision to quit. Hopefully this revised decision will alleviate some of the stress.

Finally, don’t forget to vote in my TBR Topple poll if you haven’t already. I will be picking the winner on Wednesday!

To the update…

Currently Reading

What I’ve Read

New Books

Bought / Freebies

Book Post

Reviews

This week I reviewed Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning, Spring by Lele Iturrioz, Tipping Point by Terry Tyler, and Tears of Tess by Pepper Winters.

Other Posts

Music Monday saw me post a live video this week, something acoustic and a bit more soulful. I have an excerpt from Falling For You by Charlotte Blake. This week on The Bookshelf I had Joanne from Potobello Book Blog.

Next Week on BrizzleLass Books

Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge 2017

So, I came across the Flights of Fantasy reading challenge and thought this was another challenge that would be great to get my teeth into this year. To ensure I stick with reading some books off of my massive TBR and give myself some time with my favourite genre and don’t get too bogged down with ARC’s, which as we know, can happen!

What is it?

This is a challenge which is organised by Alexa Loves Books and Hello, Chelly. You set your own reading target but they also run giveaways and a kind of reading club within the challenge so I will certainly try and read some of the books I’ve not already read within those aswell, some of the books they have listed are on my TBR so it shouldn’t be too hard!

I will keep a list here of the Fantasy books I read throughout the year, with a link to my reviews, as I am doing with the Discoverability Challenge, and I will aim for half of my Goodreads Challenge Target of 100 to be fantasy, so 50 books!

Good luck to anybody else who is taking part!

  1. Fantastic Creatures – Fellowship of Fantasy
  2. Cruel Crown – Victoria Aveyard
  3. Runemarks – Joanne M Harris
  4. The Ninth Rain – Jen Williams
  5. The Art of Forgetting: Rider – Joanne Hall
  6. Seasons Within – Lele Iturrioz
  7. A Facet for the Gem – C. L. Murray
  8. Written in Red – Anne Bishop (Flights of Fantasy Book Club)
  9. Dark Promise – Nikki Landis
  10. Angelbound – Christina Bauer
  11. Siren’s Fury – Mary Weber
  12. Curse of Stars – Donna Compositor
  13. Norse Mythology – Neil Gaiman
  14. Celtic Fire – Liz Gavin
  15. When the Floods Came – Clare Morrall
  16. Reborn – Jane Ederlyn
  17. The Last Days of Magic – Mark Tompkins
  18. Saving Mercy – Abbie Roads
  19. Dragon of Ash & Stars: The Autobiography of a Night Dragon – H. Leighton Dickson
  20. Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor
  21. The Unlikeable Demon Hunter – Deborah Wilde
  22. The Dragon’s Legacy – Deborah A. Wolf
  23. Memortality – Stephen H. Provost
  24. Cry Wolf – Greta Stone
  25. Legion – Julie Kagawa
  26. Red Sister – Mark Lawrence
  27. Mother of Wolves – J. Aislynn d’Merricksson
  28. Skullsworn – Brain Staveley
  29. Alphabet of Thorn – Patricia A. McKillip (Flights of Fantasy Book Club)
  30. Shifter Clan Series – Tiffany Shand
  31. The Lost Sentinel – Suzanne Rogerson
  32. Nightseer – Laurell K Hamilton
  33. Fallen From Grace – Nikki Landis
  34. Godblind – Anna Stephens
  35. A Gathering of Ravens – Scott Oden
  36. The Gunslinger – Stephen King
  37. Wyvern Awakening – Joanna Mazurkiewicz
  38. Seduced By Moonlight – Laurell K Hamilton
  39. Pack Ebon Red – C.M. Stunich
  40. Made In The Image Of The Goddess – Chantelle Griffin
  41. Blackwing – Ed McDonald
  42. The Last Dragon Rider – Errin Krystal
  43. The Final Empire – Brandon Sanderson
  44. Darkfever – Karen Marie Moning
  45. Tipping Point – Terry Tyler
  46. The Dragon in the Garden – Erika Gardner
  47. Spring – Lele Iturrioz
  48. Raising Fire – James Bennett
  49. Firestorm – Rachel Caine
  50. Branded – Keary Taylor
  51. Damned – Alexandra Weis & Lucas Astor
  52. Elements of Mischief – C.M. Stunich & Tate James
  53. Seventh Decimate – Stephen Donaldson
  54. The Year of the Knife – G.D. Penman
  55. The Man in the High Castle – Philip K Dick
  56. Split Feather – Deborah A. Wolf
  57. The Vixen’s Lead – Tate James
  58. The Well of Ascension – Brandon Sanderson
  59. Dungari Rise – Nikki Landis
  60. The Dark Highlander – Karen Marie Moning
  61. Pack Violet Shadow – C.M. Sunich
  62. Full Moon Rising – Keri Arthur
  63. The Bitter Twins – Jen Williams
  64. Elements of Ruin – C.M. Stunich & Tate James
  65. Allison’s Adventure’s in Underland – C.M. Stunich
  66. Lindisfarne – Terry Tyler
  67. The Dragon’s Wing – Tate James
  68. Patient Zero – Terry Tyler
  69. Fractured – Nikki Landis
  70. Arcanum Unbounded – Brandon Sanderson
  71. The Tiger’s Ambush – Tate James